Pinder was speaking following the release of the Davis administration’s policy white paper regarding the future of digital assets in the Bahamas.
He said that in addition to ensuring that Bahamians can be trained and educated for employment in the emerging industry, it is paramount that Bahamians can benefit from direct participation.
“One of the issues with Bahamians engaged in the industry now is exchange control. And the Central Bank will take the position you need to convert your Bahamian dollars through the international currency market and legitimate framework so that you can go and invest those in digital assets.This has always been, in my opinion and for many others, a serious impediment to foreign investment by Bahamians, due to the premiums they charge and the process and bureaucracy involved “said the attorney general.
“So you’ll see that one of our commitments in the white paper is to work with the Central Bank to make sure that we can have a more flexible framework for Bahamians to participate, using Bahamian dollars as part of the digital assets and cryptocurrency. The Central Bank has its thoughts on the issues, we have our thoughts on the matter and hopefully when the time comes we will come together on the matter.
The $3 trillion cryptocurrency industry has only become mainstream globally in recent years as major banks, investment firms, and other financial institutions begin investing and trading in large scale.
The recently released white paper projected that the Bahamas, one of the first jurisdictions to enact digital asset legislation and regulation, would significantly expand the sector by 2025.
Pinder said the Davis administration does not want the Bahamas or Bahamians to be outside of this financial revolution.
“As you know, we are setting up an advisory committee and a political committee that will work on this. The Policy Committee is headed by the Prime Minister and has both the Governor of the Central Bank and the Executive Director of the Securities Commission with him, to make separate policy recommendations on this,” he said. .
“We thought it was rather important to have the chief regulators at the table with the Prime Minister so that we could come to these decisions. We have the advisory committee that will make those recommendations and send them to the ultimate steering committee to make those decisions. That’s why you see the breakdown in the white paper between these committees and how we’re going to approach policy changes. But we said we were going to work for Bahamians to be able to invest in cryptocurrencies using Bahamian dollars, and that’s something we’re going to work with regulators.
The whitepaper’s nine-point policy adjectives include exploring new opportunities in decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), stablecoins, and asset-referenced tokens; improve the attractiveness of the Bahamas as a well-regulated jurisdiction for digital asset management; and expanding the current legislative framework.
The document also promised that the government would begin this year allowing Bahamians to access digital assets using Bahamian dollars and allow the payment of taxes using digital assets.